The Committee is responsible for maintaining the NBER's chronology of U. business cycles, which is widely used among economic and business analysts.
The Committee concluded that the evidence is not sufficiently strong at this time to determine whether or not a recession has begun or, if so, to identify the cyclical peak.
Hundreds of the nation's leading scholars in economics and business are also NBER researchers, who focus on four types of empirical research: developing new statistical measurements, estimating quantitative models of economic behavior, assessing the effects of public policies on the U. economy, and projecting the effects of alternative policy proposals.
Twelve of the 31 American Nobel Prize winners in Economics have been researchers at the bureau.
The Committee has scheduled another meeting for late October.
CAMBRIDGE, July 27 -- The Committee on Business Cycle Dating of the NBER met on July 26 to reviews the evidence about the current state of the U. The Committee met in response to growing evidence that the economy may have reached a cyclical peak in recent months and entered a recession at that point.Some of the considerations underlying the Committee's decision are the following: 1) early indications are that real GNP has risen in the fourth quarter relative to the third quarter; 2) reported declines in industrial production so far are quite small; 3) employment is continuing to rise and unemployment is still just above its recent low of 5.6%; 4) the only indication of substantial contraction is in real output of goods as measured by the deflated GNP accounts.The Committee plans to meet again in March or April.The NBER's research activities are mostly identified by 20 research programs on different subjects and 14 working groups.The research programs are: Aging, Asset Pricing, Behavioral/Macro, Capital Markets and the Economy, Children, Corporate Finance, Development of the American Economy, Economics of Education, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Energy and the Environment, Health Care, Health Economics, Industrial Organization, International Finance and Macroeconomics, International Trade and Investment, Labor Studies, Law and Economics, Monetary Economics, Political Economy, Productivity, and Public Economics.Some of the reasons for the Committee's caution were: (1) The conflict between the small decline in the Federal Reserve industrial production index and the much larger decline in gross national product in constant dollars.(2) The continued strength of employment and the decline in the unemployment rate. Although forecasters are now virtually unanimous in predicting a recession in early 1980,the Committee's judgments in identifying turning points are based only on actual data (not on forecasts). reduced production of goods but continuing strength in other sectors were confirmed.The Committee will meet again in late December, when two additional months of data will be available.The Committee emphasized that growth in the economy has apparently faltered in the period since the first quarter of 1979.